Friday, November 06, 2009

How to Locate and Apply for College Scholarships

Scholarships are private funds awarded to students who meet specific criteria set by the donor(s). The criteria can be as specialized as the donor(s) may choose and, consequently, are competitive. Frequently used criteria include: academic performance, community service, ancestry, career/profession, race, religion, gender, and specialized skills or talents.


1. Research/Network - places to look for scholarships
Off Campus:
• Employer/parents' employer
• Employment personnel office
• Public Library
• Unions
• Church
• Clubs and Organizations
• Community-based groups
On the Internet:
At School:
• Counseling Office/Career Center
• Bulletin boards
• Daily school bulletins or public announcements
• Special scholarship bulletins
• Teachers and counselors
• School library and internet
• Fellow students
• Scholarship handbooks or guides

2. Keep a portfolio folder of scholarship documents and include the following:
a) Personal Statement - express strong, clear, positive information on your background (past), current activities and challenges (present), and your enthusiasm regarding your goals and aspirations (future)
b) Letters of Recommendation - highlighting your strengths, abilities, goals, personality, and an indication of your financial need and potential for success. If a letter is addressed, "To whom it may concern," and you are given a copy, it may be used for more than one application. Ideal recommendations are from teachers, employers, and/or community members.
c) Transcript - Cumulative Student Record (CSR) must be sealed in an envelope by the school to remain official. (Keep your own photocopies of your transcript, in the event unofficial transcripts are acceptable.)
d) Personal Budget - detailed list of expenses and any income to be received. Costs should include tuition, books, transportation, housing, meals, medical, and personal expenses. Student-budget forms are usually available from the financial aid office or college catalog.
e) Miscellaneous - sometimes a photo is requested. Samples of work may also be requested for competitive awards. Your high school portfolio may also be helpful.
f) Copies of application - be certain to keep copies of all applications to colleges and scholarships so that information can be quickly revised. If you are using a computer, save essay information on a disk.

3. Be persistent! It pays!!!

Meet deadlines and follow through as appropriate. Take advantage of every opportunity to network, get to know yourself better, and benefit from the results. Scholarships can be worth your time and effort, but - YOU MUST APPLY - APPLY FOR ALL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WHICH YOU MAY QUALIFY. It is FREE MONEY which can help you through school. The more scholarships you apply for, the more opportunities for FREE MONEY.

Note: Be extremely wary of individuals or companies who offer to locate or "guarantee" scholarships or financial aid assistance for a fee (e.g., Do not pay money to apply for scholarships. To learn more about "scholarship scams" visit: or by calling 800.433.3243

Tips regarding letters of recommendation:
1. Ask only those who will give you a positive recommendation (do not ask to see it).
2. Request the letter three or four weeks in advance so the writer is not rushed.
3. Provide the writer with the name, address, due date, and any particulars to be included in the letter. (A helpful gesture is to provide a correctly addressed, stamped envelope and tuck inside a list of particulars, e.g., achievements, awards, community service, talents, challenges, to be mentioned by the writer.)
4. Send a "thank you" letter to the writer sharing the outcome of your scholarship application.

more information can be obtained at
an outreach program of the California Student Aid Commission

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Just got my check for $500.

Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can earn filling out paid surveys online...

So I show them a video of myself getting paid over $500 for doing paid surveys to set the record straight.